Saturday, May 29, 2004

Terrorism has directly touched my family ... 

My cousin Owen, and his wife Dianne, live in the Khobar compound that was attacked in Saudi Arabia today. Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Dianne was shot.

She survived, but has serious wounds to her legs. The gunshots broke both bones in one leg, and she suffered a flesh wound in the other.

I don't yet have any other details, and the media has been woefully inadequate at supplying any. The little else I know about the attacks came from internet resources.

To those on the left, who don't believe in terrorism, I ask you, "Is it terrorism when a fanatic screaming "God is Great!" opens fire on innocent women and children running for their lives?"

I ask you to please keep Owen and Dianne in your thoughts and prayers.


Friday, May 28, 2004

Texasisms and Texas facts ... 

Keith Burgess-Jackson has posted his Texasisms for today.

I thought I would add a little by posting some little known Texas facts.

• The distance from Beaumont, TX to El Paso, TX is 742 miles. From Beaumont, TX to Chicago, IL is 770 miles.

• The world's first rodeo was in Pecos, TX... July 4, 1883.

• The Flagship Hotel in Galveston, TX, is the only hotel in North America built over water.

• The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first full time football coach for Rice University, Houston.

• Brazoria County, TX is home to more species of birds than any other area in North America.

• The Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America's only remaining flock of whooping cranes.

• Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson, TX in 1978.

• The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was in 1900 caused by a hurricane in which over 8,000 lives were lost on Galveston Island.

• The first word spoken from the moon, July 20, 1969, was "Houston."

• El Paso, TX is closer to California than to Dallas, TX.

• Laredo, TX is the world's largest inland port.

• The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is the world's largest rose garden with over 38,000 bushes with 500 varieties on 22 acres.

• The State shell is the Lightning Whelk.

• The King Ranch in south Texas is larger than the state of Rhode Island.

• Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43" in 24 hours in and around Alvin, TX in July 1979.

• Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, instead of by annexation. (This allows the Texas flag to fly at the same height as the US flag.)

• A Live Oak tree near Fulton, TX is estimated to be 1,500 years old.

• Caddo Lake, TX is the only natural lake in the state, all the other lakes are man-made.

• Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period after Dr in Dr Pepper.

• Texas has had six capital cities:
— Washington-on-the-Brazos
— Harrisburg
— Galveston
— Velasco
— West Columbia
— Austin

• The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only capitol dome in the U.S. which is taller than the Capitol Building Dome in Washington D.C. (by 7 feet).

• The first domed sports stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston.

• The name Texas comes from the Hasini Indian word "tejas" meaning friends. Tejas is not Mexican/Spanish for Texas.

The State animal is the Armadillo. Armadillos always have four babies! They have one egg which splits into four and they either have four males or four females.

The dumbing down of America ... 

Wow ! Neil Boortz slams one over the fence in today's Townhall column ...
The majority of Americans can’t tell you who the vice president is. Not two out of ten Americans could tell you the name of their two U.S. Senators and their congressman. Examples are plenteous. Most Americans, for instance, actually think that the United States is supposed to be a democracy. It’s not. New Mexico, by the way, IS a state.

My opinion was reinforced last week when I heard that a Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll found that a huge majority of Americans think that our economy is growing worse. What have they been smoking? Our economy grew at a 4.4% rate during the first quarter of 2004, and these people think it’s in the tank? Employment numbers are up. Manufacturing is up. Government revenue is up. Incomes are up. Home sales are up. Home ownership is at record levels. Poverty is down. The truth is that our economy is doing amazingly well … and poised to do even better; yet the majority of Americans don’t realize this? The forecast for economic growth for the current quarter is between 4.5 and 5%. With these numbers, how do you say our economy is doing poorly? Maybe it’s because so many of these people rely on Entertainment Tonight for their daily news. You do know, don’t you, that more Americans get their news from Entertainment Tonight than from any other single news source.
Go read the whole thing.

Letters to an Iraqi from Americans ... 

Omar, over at the Iraq the Model blog has posted some e-mails he has received from Americans that have visited his site ...
Hello there,

I recently found your incredible website. I'm an American citizen with too much invested in the outcome of this war. At least, I truly felt that way nearly 20 minutes ago.

Every night, I rush to the television to watch the Iraq War on the nightly news. And for that half hour, I sob or stare in disbelief. The love of my life is to leave me soon, as he's been mobilized to Iraq. With every news broadcast, I would cringe and think of only the worst - for me.

How truly selfish I am! After reading your website, I feel like I can send him off with a smile; always knowing that he's doing right - right for a country and a people who desperately need him more than I. And with so many positive Iraqis (that I never knew existed before now), I can have faith that, should he ever be in need, the genuine people of Iraq will provide.

Also, I recently studied Islam in a college course. I could not understand how such a strong, and peaceful religion had been so misconstrued by its followers. My intolerance was growing; how would I soon differ from them? Now, I can say that I understand how a selected few, and bad media coverage can misguide even the peaceful. Everyone who has contributed to your website should be credited with saving MY misguided soul.

Thank you, once again. Your site will continue to provide reality when we need it most.

Best Regards,

Dear Sir,
I stumbled upon your web page today while trying to find some "good news" on Iraq. I was sure there must be some somewhere. My son, John, is a Sargent with the 3rd ID, he works in a tank. He "invaded" Iraq from Kuwait last year and entered Baghdad through Baghdad International Airport. He was there for 8 months. During that time he called and wrote home often about what wonderful people Iraqis were. He said as they passed throuh southern Iraq, his heart bled becuse he had never known such poverity exisisted before. It made him and his friends more determined to "get the right thing done." When they entered Baghdad and "took" one of the southern palaces, he was filled with anger and hate for Saddam. How could he let his people's children live in mire, hungry and without a future while he lived sitting on a gold toilet? I heard much of this from him. When he came home, he spoke fondly of the Iraqi friends he had made and the children he had come to know and played games with. He said he wanted to bring them all home with him, and was sad he could not.
Now he will be returning to Iraq sometime later this year. He feels that the politicians here in the US have let the Iraqi people down. He is worried that his old friends will now hate him. He is confused and doesn't know what he can do to help. I am worried that all he will find when he gets there is hatered and distrust. He wanted so much to help make this world be a better place for humanity. He is feeling that he and his army buddies are failures in that task. The prison scandal is very heavy on his heart and he is very angry that an American soldier could possibly do thata to another person.
I am sending him your web site and printed out some of your postings for him to share with his friends. I am in hopes this will give him renewed determination to be true to the hope for freedom in your country.
Freedom isn't easy. Freedom is hard and must be worked all the time. We have been working at it for 200 years and we still do not have it right yet. There are still those in this country who are not given the freedoms we are trying to help Iraq achieve. But if everyone keeps working at it and refuses to give up, it can be done.
If you are not visiting this Iraqi blog at least three times a week, you are missing out on information you will never get from the mainstream media.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Women and Men ... 

Ally, over at Who Moved My Truth?, amazes me with her recent posts aimed at women, regarding their interactions with men.

She certainly was "dead on", in my opinion, in her descriptions of the differences between men and women!

The link below points to more than one post. Read "The Truth About Women" first, then continue with "The Vices of Misandry". (Had to look that one up !)

Go read the whole thing.

Real heros ... 

Steven Denbeste writes about what it takes to be a real hero ...
Real heroes know that decorations are only given to those who were lucky enough to be heroic while someone important was watching. Real heroes will have seen many other heroic acts which were never acknowledged by anyone, except by the other members of the team. And ultimately that is the only acknowledgement they truly value, for only their teammates really understand what they went through.

A man who brags about his heroism is no hero. And the men who served with him will know it.
Go read the whole thing.

The Liberal's Creed ... 

From Robert Alt, a correspondent for the Ashbrook Center, over at the No Left Turns site, comes The Liberal's Creed ...
A string of recent letters and articles from those of a more liberal persuasion suggest that they choose to ignore or simply do not believe information which is inconsistent with their basic tenets. Theirs is a policy of faith, and here is their creed.

We believe in the United Nations, and Kofi Annan, the maker of international legitimacy.

We believe that the UN inspections worked.
We believe that SCUD missiles fired at U.S. troops minutes after the war began don’t change anything;
We believe that 3 liters of sarin gas used against U.S. troops doesn’t change anything;
We believe that finding evidence of mustard gas doesn’t change anything.

We believe that the war in Iraq conducted by a Republican president was unjustified because it lacked UN approval;
We believe that the "military action" in Kosovo conducted by a Democratic president was justified without UN approval.

We believe that the Iraq war was unilateral.
We believe that the participation of Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and Ukraine does not change the fact that the war was unilateral;
We believe that multilateralism can only be achieved with the participation of France and Germany;
We believe in multilateralism.

We believe that this war was motivated by greed and oil;
We believe that when France, Germany, and Russia opposed the war, they were motivated by principle, and not by sweetheart oil deals or Oil-For-Food kickbacks;
We believe that US oil prices are too high, and that the administration failed in its responsibility to do something about it.

We believe that the U.S. may only legitimately use force for humanitarian ends in one place if it does so in all places where aid might be needed;
We believe that the U.S. may not quell threats in places where the cost is relatively low unless it is willing to use force in places like North Korea, where the cost in lives would likely be very high;
We believe that a humanitarian action is only truly humanitarian if there are no strategic interests to muddle the altruism.

We believe that President Bush lied.
We believe that Prime Minister Blair lied.
We believe that when Hillary Clinton and Dick Gephardt voted for the war based on the same intelligence relied upon by Bush and Blair, they made reasonable decisions based on the intelligence available at the time.

We believe that the administration did not make the case for war;
We believe that the administration offered many different reasons but could not offer a coherent message explaining the need to go to war;
We believe that the administration made perfectly clear that the only reason we were going to war was because of the threat from WMDs.

We believe that there were no WMDs.
We believe that finding sarin gas is 14th page news;
We believe that if the sarin gas is old, then it really isn’t a WMD we were looking for;
We believe that it wasn’t really sarin gas;
We believe that sarin gas isn’t necessarily a WMD.

We believe that there was no terrorist connection to, or threat from, Iraq.
We believe that members of Abu Nidal in Iraq would not have committed terrorist acts if we had not invaded;
We believe that al Qaeda operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would not have committed terrorist acts if we had not invaded;
We believe that Saddam’s terrorist training camp at Salman Pak—complete with a Boeing 707 plane used for hijacking drills—did not exist or posed no real threat;
We believe that it was merely a coincidence that the pharmaceutical factory bombed by President Clinton in Sudan was using al Qaeda funds and a uniquely Iraqi formula to produce VX gas;
We believe that we are responsible for bringing terror on ourselves.

We believe that the prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib is widespread and is probably the tip of the iceberg;
We believe that Abu Ghraib proves that the America’s occupation is no different than Saddam’s tyranny;
We believe that any attempt to suggest that there is a moral difference between a regime which systematically killed 300,000 people and tortured countless others and a regime which punished the acts of Abu Ghraib is illegitimate.

We believe that soldiers deliberately target women and children;
We believe that the soldiers abuse and kill Iraqis because they are racists;
We support our troops.

We believe that no one should question our statement that we "support our troops;"
We believe that the best thing that could happen for this country would be for Bush to lose in November;
We believe that the best way for Bush to lose in November is for the Iraq effort to go poorly, even if that means that more Iraqis and troops will die;
We believe that most of the troops are minorities and the poor;
We believe that when the word "heroes" is used to describe our troops, it should always be enclosed in scare quotes.

We believe in quagmire.
We believe that when fringe Iraqi groups attack hard targets and are soundly defeated with relatively low Coalition casualties, that this is inescapable evidence of crisis;
We believe that Iraq is Bush’s Vietnam.

We believe that Vietnam is the lens through which all wars should be viewed.
We believe that soldiers in Vietnam were baby killers;
We believe that John Kerry is a hero for his service in Vietnam.

We believe that because John Kerry is a hero, he necessarily has the national security expertise necessary to be commander-in-chief.
We believe that any attempt to question his national security expertise based on his voting record, including his decision to vote against a supplemental bill used to buy the soldiers body armor, is an unfair attack on the patriotism of a hero, who by virtue of this honorific has the expertise to be commander-in-chief.

We believe in the trinity: NPR, CNN, and the New York Times. We believe in Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, John Kerry, and all the DNC, and we look for President Clinton yet to come. Amen.

Al Gore, former (Thank God) US Vice President ... 

Yesterday, Al Gore briefly unwrapped the tin-foil from around his head, and made a speech to the MoveOn.org PAC.

Suffice it to say that poor Al has not only gone off the deep end ... he's hit the bottom and begun digging.

Hindrocket over at the Powerline blog thoroughly fisks some of Gore's rant, and John Podhoretz picks up where Hindrocket lets off.

Be sure to read these articles, and then quiver in fear when you think of Al Gore as VP for eight years and how close he came to the Whitehouse in 2000.

More you will never see in the mainstream media ... 

From BlackFive ...
Here's something that'll never make the headlines - 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One) Soldiers escorting the head religious figure in Samarra, Iraq, on an (inspection) TOUR through the local detention facilities...
Imam Visits the 2nd Brigad Combat Team Detention Facility

In an effort to develop a positive relationship with Imams, who are religious leaders, and to curtail rumors of detainee abuse, Dr. Hatem Ahmad Abass, the head Imam in Samarra, was invited to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team Detention facility at Forward Operating Base Brassfield-Mora to give a sermon to the detainees.

Abass is the Imam at the Al Hadi Mosque, also known as the Golden Mosque. Two associates from the Samarra Working Group, Sheik Jasim Dauod, Imam for the Noor Al-Yaqeen Mosque, and Ghazi Abdul-Kareem Abdullah, a court magistrate in Samarra visited the facility with Abass.

Lt. Col. Kirk T. Allen, Task Force commander of the FOB, greeted Abass when he arrived at the detention facility. After introductions, Abass was set up with a speaker system so he could give his sermon. His message focused on patience and hope, and he told the detainees that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

After the sermon, Abass and his associates talked with several detainees and were given a tour of the facility by the task force’s military police platoon, Chaplain and S-5.

2nd Lt. Warren, the MP platoon leader, showed Abass the facility’s aid station, latrines, showers and even the contents of one of the Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) that the detainees are given three times a day.

The Imam said he was pleased to see that the detainees had access to copies of the Quran and were allowed their religious freedom.

Following their visit, Abass and his associates admitted that they had been pleasantly surprised at how well the detainees were treated. They said the detainees told them that they were well fed, cared for and treated with respect by everyone at the detention facility.

Abass mentioned that he had expected far worse conditions at the detention facility given the prison abuse scandal in Abu Ghrid Prison. But was pleased with what he saw at the 2nd BCT detention facility.

As the members of the Samarra Working Group left, they thanked Allen for allowing them to give a sermon. The Imam’s visit boosted the detainees’ morale, raised their spirits and gave them hope, the detainees said.
Where's Dan Rather on this one?
If you are not visiting BlackFive daily, you should be. Get your info from someone "in the know".

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Advice to terrorists ...  

Blaster's Blog has posted some excellent advice for terrorists.

I know I've thought the same thing, and I wish I had written this ...
They say that you guys are talking up a storm lately, and you are inordinately proud of what you got done in Spain. I know we are all infidels, but you might want to rethink these so-called plans of yours. First of all, we aren't Spain. Don't look at the Cannes film festival and think, man, those guys are soft. Don't replay Bob Kerrey's grandstanding videos off of the C-SPAN website and think that we are too internally divided to survive. Don't watch the Madonna concert and think, "those people are too sick to live."

You guys made the same mistake before. We'll just kill a bunch of Americans and they will be stunned, and the rest of the Muslim world will rise up with us to take over the world. It didn't happen that way. You hurt us, I'll grant you that, but you really, really pissed us off. You made Ted Kennedy sing God Bless America. You made an NFL player get off the field so he could kick your ass. You may have killed him, but I'm just betting he gave way more than he got. You made people want to bomb places that they didn't even know existed just to get back at you guys. And we did. And then we started breaking up that whole fascist thing going on in your excremental part of the world, just to make sure you won't do it again.

Yet you persist. Gonna hit us big this summer. You want 4 million of us, I hear, just to make things even. Not sure "even" for what. But I'm telling you right now, it is an extremely bad idea. Do it - or just try it - and I can't even begin to guess at what would be coming your way. You have no idea what we can do. You think you'll scare us, maybe we'll hold a big commission again and wonder what we did wrong. Maybe. But first we'll kick the living dogshit out of you and anybody who likes you or talks like you or maybe just says you aren't so bad. We'll forget about how bad we felt about the naked guys in prison. And so will you ...

... You may have a pretty fine gig over there in Iraq, skulking from one old septic tank to another in the garden spot of Fallujah, and you're seeing how your folks over there are getting shot to shit when they take on the US Marines head on. You might think, man, I'll go get me some of those guys without the body armor and guns.

Well, that was with us holding back. Bring something big over here again. I think you'll find that our balance has shifted on what is acceptable to us. And a whole lot of us have guns, here. We're tired of this crap already - been tired. But give us a big ugly reason, and we'll take the lazy way out. Just kill you all, let Allah sort it out. You think WMD is cool? We invented them. You ever nuked anybody? We have. That's what happens when our patience just runs out on fanatics who want to kill us.

We can hold investigative hearings after that. All summer long, if you want, and play it all on TV so kids home from school won't get to see Mr. Knozit. We can all get a bellyful of the political circus. But you'll miss it, being highly dead and all ...
Go read the whole thing.

A New Blog ... 

Keith Burgess-Jackson has started a new blog.

This new blog will focus on The Ethics of War.

I am sure that the new blog will be as full of Keith's insight as are his current blogs.

We've seen this pair before ... 

"Nuff said" ...


(Courtesy of the InstapunK site)

The Lie clocks ... 

A little humor, courtesy of Right Wing News ...
A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the pearly gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.

He asked St. Peter, "What are all those clocks?"

St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move."

"Oh," said the man. "Whose clock is that?"

"That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie." replied St. Peter

"Incredible," said the man. "And whose clock is that one?"

St. Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling that Abe told only two lies in his entire life."

"Where's John Kerry's clock?" asked the man.

"Kerry's clock is in God's office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."

Some Iraqi opinions ... 

Omar, over at the Iraq the Model blog has posted some comments by Iraqis regarding their daily lives ...
What happens these days in Iraq is a natural process as a result from the transfer from dictatorship to democracy.
Ali Ahmed-Baghdad.

I'm an Iraqi citizen and I want to thank president GWB from all my heart for the great service he's done to the Iraqi people by freeing us from one of the worst tyrants in history. This liberation didn't suit the enemies of humanity and freedom, thus we see them committing terrorist acts claiming to resist occupation by killing their own people, but that will not affect the Iraqis lust for freedom. Thanks again GWB.

I won't forget the day when I saw one of Saddam's tanks crushing the heads of 40 She'at Iraqis who were among others arrested for no obvious reason in 1991. Their hands were tied and put on the street for the tank to pass over their heads. The words" No She'at after today" where written on that tank.

I was one of those people. My hands were tied to the back and a grenade was put between them and the safety pin removed. It was positioned in a way that it should explode if I was to make any move, and I was left a lone in a deserted area that was at least 5 Km. from any life. If it wasn't for the kindness of one of the soldiers who came back and rescued me, I would've certainly died soon.
Ihsan Al-Shimmari-Sweeden.

We lived our worst years under Saddam regime, a regime that many Arabs still believe in!We don't know why don't they leave us in peace, especially the Arab media that turns liberation into occupation and criminals into resistant. We, Iraqis, know the truth very well. The situation is much better now for the vast majority of Iraqis. Most of the people are government employees who used to get paid 4 or 6 thousand Iraqi dinars. Now the lowest salary is 100 thousand Iraqi Dinar. We feel free and we don't fear prisons and torture. The Arab media, as expected, made a huge fuss about the prisoners abuse in Abu-Gharib. Shame on them. Where were they when Saddam put explosives around a bunch of young men and blasted their bodies and they all saw that on TV? Where were they?

I had to leave Iraq because I didn't want to be one of Saddam's slaves. After so many years, I'm back to my country and I saw that people are not as nervous as they used to be. I saw hope in their eyes despite the security problems. All I have to say to our Arab brothers is,"We are practicing democracy. You keep enjoying dictatorship"
Ilham Hussain-Baghdad.

I'm from an area not so far from Shat Al-Arab, still at Saddam's time we never had clean water supply. Now the situation is better and the British are very gentle and kind. I no longer fear for my life or my family's. The only problems we have are the thieves and some shortage in power supply.
Kadim Jabbar-Al-Zubair-Basra.

The daily life in Basra is not that different from other parts of Iraq; It's very hot, the water and power supply are not Continueous, still I prefer to live a year in these conditions than one hour like those we lived under Saddam.
Abbas Mahir Tahir-Basra.

A story you'll never read in Newsweek 

BlackFive writes about the death of Major Matthew Schram on Memorial Day, 2003 ...
Memorial Day is like any other day when you're in an Army at War.

On Memorial Day, May 26th, 2003 at approximately 7:00AM, Major Mathew E. Schram was leading a resupply convoy in Western Iraq near the Syrian border. Major Schram was the Support Operations Officer for the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (out of Ft. Carson, Colorado). He had responsibility for organizing the logistical arm of the regiment - ensuring that the Cavalrymen never ran out of food, fuel or ammo.

Normally, Major Schram would not accompany the convoys as his responsibilities kept him at the main resupply point. However, due to the problems with attacks on supply convoys (i.e. Jessica Lynch's 507th Maintenance Company ambush), he decided to lead this one. He also decided that there was a side benefit to the ride - he would be able to talk with the field commanders and troops that he supported. Major Schram wanted to make sure that his "customers" were happy. Anyone who knew Mat Schram knew that he was obsessive-compulsive about making sure "his soldiers" were taken care of...that's why he was one of the top logistical officers in the US Army ...

... At 7:15AM, vicinity KC 6514 6181, Major Schram's convoy approached a ravine where the bridge crossing the ravine had been destroyed. The convoy had to go down the embankment, into the ravine, and back up the other side to get back onto the highway.

Once the lead vehicle started up the far bank of the ravine, the convoy came under intense fire from Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), machine guns, and small arms fire. It was an ambush. Fifteen Iraqi insurgents had been waiting by the ravine ...

... Major Schram ordered his driver, Specialist Chris Van Dyke, to accelerate from their position in the convoy into the insurgents' positions. Major Schram sent a message to Headquarters for help and began returning fire out of the Humvee. The Iraqi grenadiers recognized the threat and shifted their fire from the rear truck to Schram's Humvee, HQ-12.

Multiple grenades exploded at the front and rear of HQ-12. Specialist Van Dyke was blown out of the vehicle. Once he stopped rolling on the ground, he got up and ran back to HQ-12. He got back in and drove the Humvee out of the Kill Zone.

When he turned to get orders from Major Schram, Van Dyke realized that his Major had been killed. Even though he wore body armor, two 7.62 rounds had gone through his armpit (where there is no body armor coverage) and struck his heart, killing him instantly ...

... The one part that I left out of this post is that Major Schram's convoy was followed by a car with a Newsweek reporter in it. Once the action began, the reporter and his driver turned and got the hell out of there. If it wasn't for Mat's charge up into the ambushers, they never would have made it out of there alive.

Newsweek never ran a story about my good friend, Mat ...

... I started Blackfive and decided to write about Mat and other Americans like him - people that Newsweek would never tell you about.

It's Mat Schram's blog as much as it is mine.

So, today, on the anniversary of the sacrifice of my friend, please take a moment to pray for the families who have lost their loved ones in our fight against terror. Mat would have liked that.
Go read the whole thing.

Michael (the Mullah) Moore fan ... 

From today's NY Times, the following letter to the editor ...
To the Editor:

Michael Moore's documentary about the Bush administration's foreign policies, "Fahrenheit 9/11," won the top prize at Cannes (news article, May 23) mainly because it tells the truth, which is what a documentary is supposed to do.

I applaud Michael Moore for his constant determination and his fearless attitude. France, my home country, spoke with me against the war on Iraq. Now I am an American citizen, and Mr. Moore speaks with me against the Bush administration. May the Cannes Film Festival open the doors to a nationwide viewing in the United States.

Ardmore, Pa., May 23, 2004
If this poor French woman believes that Moore's mockumentaries actually contain verifiable facts, then she also likely believes that the bright light in the sky she saw last night was a flying saucer instead of the moon.

Obviously this woman is still French, with all the French attitudes intact, rather than an American ... she even still refers to France as her "home" country.

She needs to be asked if Moore is so dissatisfied with America, and so loved by France, why he still lives in this country.

Good News wanted ... 

From today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the following letter to the editor ...
Congratulations on having the guts to publish the eight Sunday letters criticizing media coverage of the bad side of the war .

Judging from the letters, it seems that many of us want to see more of the good. We hope that you'll take these to heart and devote more space to the many good things that the unfortunate war has accomplished.

Put in some statistics on schools and hospitals built, numbers of people positively affected, and so forth. Perhaps you could publish a special section.

Certainly, spreading good, positive information deserves more attention than your worn-out display of tragedy, and much more attention than the eight pages of Colonial golf statistics and huge special sections at the beginning of the various local sports seasons.

Henry Matuszewski — Euless
I have to admit, I too was astonished that the Startle-gram published the letters to the editor that were in the Sunday edition.

Waving the flag ... 

From today's Fort Worth Star Telegram Op-Ed Page ...
Waving sackcloth, not the flag

By Kathleen Parker

Few traits are more attractive than humility in victory. But it's a tall order for Olympic athletes who are being asked to "tone down" their pride when medals are draped around their necks in Athens this summer.

No hootin' 'n' hollerin', in other words. No grabbing the flag and running around the track. None of that, shall we say, cowboy behavior.

You may have heard that Americans aren't popular these days -- no small thanks to the perverts at Abu Ghraib -- and that our Olympians are on the spot. Given the PR pressures, not to mention safety risks, the U.S. Olympic Committee hired Mike Moran, senior media consultant to the committee, to coach Olympic team members in international etiquette.

He's teaching them about Greek culture as well as gentlemanly (and, dare we say, "ladylike") behavior in a contemptuous, post-Iraq world arena.

"It's not business as usual for American athletes," says Moran. "If a Kenyan or a Russian grabs their national flag and runs round the track or holds it high over their heads, it might not be viewed as confrontational. Where we are in the world right now, an American athlete doing that might be viewed in another manner."

Heaven knows we don't want to offend anyone, though I confess at this point that my initial reaction is: "Oh, yeah? Well, Merry Christmas to you, too." Good manners, on the other hand, are always welcome and rare these days, especially in American athletics. Displaying less exuberance in victory -- I mean you won, right? -- isn't going to make the moment less merry or diminish the medals' sheen.

Nevertheless, two things tilt me toward the "Oh, yeah?" side of the stadium.

One is that we're asking our athletes to subdue themselves at what is arguably the highest point in their lives. Imagine working several hours a day for years and years in order to compete at the highest level against the best in the world and then having to stifle the impulse to be really, really happy.

Every American is proud in that moment when one of our own prevails. That doesn't mean we're proud of everything we've ever done, or of every policy. Indeed, our nation is divided as never before as we seek a graceful exit from a difficult war. But we are justifiably proud of our athletes as they exult in winning the ultimate competition.

By their accomplishments -- with apologies to no one -- they have a right to grab a flag and beam their pride across the stands.

The other nagging little detail in this portrait of contrived public virtue is the subtext, which exceeds a mandate for manners. Beneath the veneer of good sportsmanship is an element of self-contempt and a presumption of shame. We're asking our athletes to bear the nation's burden, but for what?

For liberating the Iraqi people? For freeing the women of Afghanistan from brutal, murdering theocrats? For sacrificing our own people and billions of dollars to help Iraqis dig out from beneath decades of tyranny? For releasing political prisoners, reuniting families and vaccinating thousands of children?

For providing prosthetics to people whose limbs were hacked off by Saddam Hussein? For building infrastructure, schools and hospitals? For eliminating the twin scourges known as Uday and Qusay?

Thanks to the demise of Uday Hussein, courtesy of coalition forces, Iraqi athletes can compete in the Olympics this year without fear of reprisal. As head of Iraq's Olympic Committee, Uday was notorious for torturing and murdering athletes who failed to win.

But shame comes naturally to Americans. We feel guilty about everything -- from the genocide of the American Indians to the enslavement of Africans to the abuses at Abu Ghraib. Given that guilt is a sign of conscience, we might view that tendency as a positive.

No other nation is quicker to condemn itself or to seek redemption through justice and generosity. One of the Abu Ghraib offenders already has been convicted and sentenced, while Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld seeks ways to compensate abused detainees.

No, we're not perfect, but shame is misplaced at this moment and at these events. Our shame already has been expressed in courts-martial and public hearings, where it belongs. Our athletes should display good manners, sure; but if they win, then by Yankee Doodle, they have every right to be proud.

I say: Grab a flag if you're so moved, and wish the hecklers a merry Christmas. In the nicest possible way.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Another letter from a marine in Iraq ... 

From the BlackFive blog ...
Here's an email from Todd, an USAF Airman First Class, in Iraq:

Thank you very much for the supportive email. It is always Good to hear from the TRUE AMERICANS that still bleed red, white, and blue. The only thing that I get to see from the American people is what is portrayed on the news. The media, and the people that listen to what they say and believe it almost make me more pissed off than the Iraqis that are over here shooting at us. At least when the Iraqis are shooting towards us, it is to our face, instead of like the traitors that call themselves Americans who stab us in the back.
I know that we are doing the right thing over here because I get to see it first hand. We are near a concrete plant that is off base and run by Iraqis. I have actually had some of them come up to me begging me to take them back to America because they know how bad living in Iraq is. I get to talk to Iraqis everyday, and I explain to them that Iraq will one day be like America, and ask them not to try to leave here, but to stay and be part of the Iraqi people that made their country a better place.

I have never been anywhere else in the world that the people were so happy to see an American. The media never tells that side of the story. They never tell about how every week we risk our lives to take food, clothes, and toys to the Children's hospital in An Nasiriyah.

Something that never happened when Saddam was in power, something these people have never seen. Instead the news talks about a battle in Al Fallujah where we lost one marine, and that is the entire story that they tell. They make it sound like we lost that battle because we lost one marine, but they don't tell you that right after that marine got killed, they sent in a C-130 gunship and blasted every one of the insurgents away. Now who won the battle?

I could go on for days and it is probably stuff that you already know, I mean you spent enough time in the military to know that the media is crap. It is good to hear that you are not afraid to let your voice be heard, and I pray that there are many more like you out there.

As long as we have the true patriots out there that keep giving their support, we will prevail and Iraq will see freedom as we do.


An Iraqi answers some questions ... 

Sarmad, over at Road of a Nation provides some very interesting answers to some pointed questions typical of those asked by the American public. An example ...
Q.A new poll we're being shown over here states that almost 90% of Iraqis want us gone. Could you please explain this?

There is a lot of poll ,being done ,maybe almost every day ,and the results of these poll depended on the time of these poll ,some of them happening where ,there is some hard times here in Iraq ,and people maybe as an reaction for these things say deferent things and these poll stays not correct .any way most of the Iraqis wont the forces to go ,also that what your troops wont ,they are here to finish a job ,and when it will be finish they will leave ,and the Iraqis realize that there most be a time for that ,but not now ,that is what most people wonted here.
Go read the whole thing.

Too good to pass up ! 

David Letterman's Top Ten List from last week ...
Top Ten Questions On The John Kerry Running Mate Application

10. Do you support both sides of every issue?

9. Excluding horse, what animal do I most resemble?

8. Mind if I pretend you're John McCain?

7. Are you related to any Governors who can help rig an election?

6. In the Vice Presidential debate, will you make Cheney your bitch?

5. You're not going to trick me into starting a war to help out your oil buddies, are you?

4. Which trait do you find more inspirational: My dour blandness or my smug arrogance?

3. If chosen, would you be willing to change your name to Kenny?

2. Any black market Botox Connections?

1. Do you have my back if I pull a 'Clinton'?
Kerry is providing the late night comics with material to last a lifetime !

(Hat Tip to Betsy's Page via Right Wing News)

Michael Moore, media mullah .... 

From the Junkyard Blog ...
So we live in a world that chooses to honor liars and frauds. Michael Moore, Oscar winner a year ago for making a "documentary" full of half-truths, exaggerations and outright lies, this weekend won top honors (and I use that term very loosely) at the Cannes film festival for another "documentary" full of half-truths, exaggerations and outright lies.

Queried about the falsehoods in his films, Moore offers a knowing wink and says "How can satire be inaccurate?" The question is, how can inaccurate satire win best documentary awards?

The sad fact is that there was some documentary producer who last year deserved the Oscar, but Michael Moore stole it from him. This year some deserving filmmaker should have won Cannes, but Michael Moore lied his way into that award too.

The sadder fact is that Moore is both the Leni Reifenstahl and Joseph Goebbels of this war: He is using his skills as a filmmaker to create nothing less than enemy propaganda, and the enemy he aids is ideologically a twin of Goebbels' and Reifenstahl's boss--anti-Semitic, brutal, a cult both of personality and radical supremacist creed. Yet another sad fact is that Reifenstahl's Nazi flick Triumph of the Will also won top honors at a French film festival, in 1937. Does the European elite ever learn? ...

... Then there's Ted Kennedy. He hasn't tossed up any pro-terrorist rhetoric lately, but give him time. That's all the old lush is good for nowadays--give aid and comfort to Nick Berg's killers. And that's exactly what most of his pronouncements, made from the well of the US Senate, are. Aid and comfort to terrorists targeting Americans and our troops.

I could go on, but I just don't feel like it. It's too depressing. Since 9-11, we have had the chance to do great good in the world, and we started out on the road to doing it. We smashed two terrible regimes, freed 50 million people, and sent the world's foremost and most ambitious terrorist outfit scurrying into the hills. Over a short time we had arrested or killed the majority of al Qaeda's leadership, we had broken their financial system, we had destroyed their training camps and we were turning the tide against them. Their nuclear fantasy seemed further from their reach than ever. From 9-11's spectacular attacks, we had reduced them to striking soft targets in Bali and to car bombings in their own backyard. Those terrorists we had drawn to Iraq, we were killing or capturing in heavy numbers. We had them on the ropes.

But we're about to throw it all away. We had the chance to do great good, but thanks to legions of terrorist sympathizers, cheerleaders and hangers-on--Moore, Kennedy, Sontag, Cole and the leftist intelligentsia, most of Europe's elites, most of the Hollywood elite, most of our media elite, etc--we are about to waste it all, make the deaths of our soldiers count for nothing. And they'll put the rest of us right back in the terrorists' crosshairs.
This is an excellent post ... go read the whole thing.

Media bias ? .... Naaahhhh .... 


(Courtesy of Cox and Forkum)

The Day After Tomorrow ... 

A new movie, soon to be released, purports to show the "end of the world" as we know it due to the effects of global warming.

Captain Ed, over at the Captain's Quarters blog has a good take on the ridiculous and impossible "science" that supposedly supports the film's premise ...
The Day After Tomorrow is yet another in a series of scare films that Hollywood regularly regurgitates in an effort to be hip and aligned with leftist political and environmental causes. Powder, for instance, opposed deer hunting; Michaels himself mentions The Day After, which this film obviously wants to evoke by its title, which supported the nuclear-freeze movement. The China Syndrome shut down nuclear power plant construction for a generation and has contributed, ironically, to the growth of so-called "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere when nuclear power could be providing massive electricity now generated by fossil fuels. But just as Hollywood routinely botches history both to score political points and sometimes for no reason whatsoever, TDAT uses ridiculously tortured science to promote a climate theory that is at best controversial, and at worst nothing more than another anti-industrial, anti-capitalist movement dressed up as research.
It turns out that the film is based on a book, The Coming Global Superstorm, by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber.

Note that Whitley Strieber is best known as the author of Communion, in which the author stated that aliens told him of the impending apocalypse.

Now Al Gore is front and center promoting this movie, a movie partially funded by George Soros.

It makes sense to me now ! The Dem's have been in communication with aliens !

Maybe they're the "mysterious foreign leaders" that Kerry has touted !

It's a good post ... go read the whole thing.

More evidence of Hollywood "intelligence" ... 

After the President's speech last nite, and the accompanying analyses, I actually watched network television. I watched CSI: Miami, on CBS (CBS = Continuous Bull-sh*t).

The CSI team had to determine the killer of a young porn star. During the course of the investigation it was discovered that the porn star's agent had forged her birth certificate to falsify her age.

He age was first determined to be incorrect, as stated on her forged birth certificate, by physical observation of the body, specifically the lack of erupted wisdom teeth. It was stated by the actor in the context of the show that the victim's wisdom teeth were "5 centimeters" below the gumline.

5 centimeters !!?? That is just slightly less than 2 inches.

Wow, the poor girl had wisdom teeth floating in the air below her jaw !

Obviously the statement should have been "5 millimeters", or slightly less than 2/10's of an inch.

You'd think an error like this would be caught when the script was reviewed, or during filming when an actor or support personnel might say, "Isn't 5 centimeters a little much for her teeth to be hiding below her gumlines ?".

Or in the end, it should have been caught during editing.

Well, maybe the Hollywood elites caught it late, and reacted as usual, i.e. "the American public is too stupid to know the difference anyway."

Monday, May 24, 2004

Blogger quiz ... 

I have seen this quiz floating around the blogosphere and thought I would post my responses ...

1. Which political party do you typically agree with? Republican

2. Which political party do you typically vote for? Republican

3. List the last five presidents that you voted for? GWB, Dole, Bush(41), Bush(41), Reagan.

4. Which party do you think is smarter about the economy? Republican in general, though recent "liberal" spending trends has me concerned.

5. Which party do you think is smarter about domestic affairs? Republicans tend to promote personal responsibility more than liberal Democrats in my opinion.

6. Do you think we should keep our troops in Iraq or pull them out? Keep them in Iraq.

7. Who, or what country, do you think is most responsible for 9/11? OBL was the major perpetrator, but those who believe that sponsorship of terrorism from other radical muslim governments is not occurring live with their heads in the sand.

8. Do you think we will find weapons of mass destruction in iraq? Yes, Saddam buried entire fighter jets in the desert, WMD's take a far smaller hole to bury.

9. Yes or no, should the u.s. legalize marijuana? No, Gen X'ers and Gen Y'ers don't need any additional help to distort their reality.

10. Do you think the republicans stole the last presidental election? No.

11. Do you think Bill Clinton should have been impeached because of what he did with Monica Lewinski? The question is nonsense. He was not impeached because of "what he did with Monica Lewinsky". He was impeached because he perjured himself under oath.

12. Do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good president? No, but she certainly would've made a good Premier in the old USSR.

13. Name a current democrat who would make a great president: Joe Lieberman, or Zell Miller ... other than these two, most Democrats I know of by name are sitting in the left field bleachers.

14. Name a current republican who would make a great president: Other than GWB? possibly Condoleeza Rice.

15. Do you think that women should have the right to have an abortion? I believe that life begins at conception, and therefore abortion is wrong, except to save the life of the mother.

16. What religion are you? Christian

17. Have you read the Bible all the way through? Yes.

18. What's your favorite book? I have several favorites: Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, anything from Stephen Baxter, or Larry Niven.

19. Who is your favorite band? Several, mostly 70's "classic rock" bands.

20. Who do you think you'll vote for president in the next election? George W. Bush

21. What website did you see this on first? Questions and Observations blog

Old Men at War ...  

From Bunker Mulligan comes an e-mail from an "old guy" with respect to military service ... definitely a laugh !

Go take a look!

Nancy Pelosi; The record of a traitor ... 

From Dick McDonald, over at The Right Scale ...
Bug-eyed Pelosi is even scarier when stripped. Among the dozens of flaws exposed by RNC, she:

• sued President G.H.W. Bush in a bizarre attempt to let Saddam Hussein get away with taking over Kuwait.
• admitted she was "devastated" when the U.S. began its ouster of Saddam in 2003.
• called a resolution to support American troops "a bitter pill."
• whined after Saddam's defeat, "We could have probably brought down that statue for a lot less."
• in 1996 voted against a bill that would "make it easier to deport foreign terrorists."
&bull did a Kerry-style flip-flop on the Patriot Act, which she voted for, after opposition to it became trendy. Even fellow liberal Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has said the ACLU could not cite one abuse of the Patriot Act.
• said in 2002 (yes, after 9/11), "I don't really consider ourselves at war."
• voted for Bill Clinton's record tax increase and against President Bush's tax relief.
• described the enormously successful welfare reform, which even Bill and Hillary Clinton backed, as a "war on the poor."
• has voted at least eight times against banning gruesome partial-birth abortions.
• has cruelly voted at least twice against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Comrade Pelosi has numerous other discretions.

Mainstream Media Magazine ... 

(Courtesy of Right Wing News)

If there was such a thing as a mainstream media magazine, it might look something like this...

Mainstream Media Magazine

Strength ... 

Bill Whittle over at Eject!Eject!Eject! has posted the latest essay in his Silent America series, in multiple parts, entitled Strength.

This essay is much to long to do justice with excerpts, but is simply a must read essay.

I must, however, excerpt one small portion, as it had a profound impact on me personally ...
The primary reason for us to be in Iraq is not to liberate her people so that they can be free. It is, quite bluntly, to liberate her people so that we can be free.

Freedom, prosperity and progress are antithetical to the Death Cult rising in that region and spreading its hatred and violence throughout the world. Iraq presents an opportunity, a chance, for a different way. A free and stable and prospering Iraq demonstrates to everyone on this Earth that Arab society can be free of both secular and theological totalitarianism alike. A functioning, modern Iraq, where people can live their lives free of fear and oppression, where they can worship as they themselves see fit without imposing their beliefs on a neighbor or having them imposed on oneself, where they can perform the simple miracles of going to work each day, earning a living and coming home to a night of television with the family without knowing terror every second of every day: that is what will set them free.

Syria, Iran, Al Qaeda and all the rest fear this very greatly. If we succeed in Iraq – we and the Iraqis, together – they know that their own downtrodden and oppressed people will start asking pointed questions about their own corrupt and joyless societies. And when it is possible to be a Muslim, and have a sense of quiet pride that does not come from death and revenge but from hard work and a safe and prospering family…well, I believe – we, many of us believe – that they will follow Frankie’s advice.

They will Choose Life.

They are human, like we are. They will choose life over death. I believe this with all my heart.

My friends and my countrymen, this is one of those rare things worth fighting for. It is worth dying for. It is even worth killing for.

Take the number of people Saddam has murdered in unmarked graves – at least 300, 000 and rising, and add to that the number of his own conscripts he has killed in wars against Iran and the various coalition forces deployed against him.

No less than a million Iraqis have died at his hands. No less than that, surely.

In the twenty-five years or so that he had absolute power, that averages to 40,000 men, women and children a year – no less.

This past year, despite the number of casualties we inflicted, there were perhaps thirty thousand Iraqis who were not killed because we invaded that country. Next year there will be forty thousand more – forty thousand who will survive, and have children, and grandchildren, because we did what we did in 2003. And the year after that, another forty thousand will live. Ten years from now, which in the world of our critics might have been year three of Uday or Qusay’s reign, there will be five hundred thousand people alive – because of us. Because of what we did. Because of what we are fighting and dying to do today.

Don’t abandon those people. Do not make meaningless the deaths of our own sons and daughters – and, for that matter, their sons and daughters. We can end this thing for the nearly unbearable, awful, horrific cost of less than a thousand American lives – and not a bill far, far worse, which will come due to us if we fail now. We – humanity – can prevail. We must not lose hope. We must not abandon our ideals. Disgrace and dishonor such as Abu Ghraib we can learn from, and correct, and redeem. Do not abandon this fight now. Not while we are winning. Not while success in within our reach but not yet within our grasp. Not this time.

This is the right thing to do. And we must continue to do it. We must.

Find the strength. We have it in abundance. Find it. Hold on to it. In our hearts – as in the hearts of that very different and yet identical people we have bound ourselves to in this endeavor – victory and salvation lie. Together, we together – we are the weapons, we are the targets, and we are the battlefield.
Go read the whole thing (Part one), (Part two), Right now !

Sunday, May 23, 2004

GWB and his bike accident ... 

From the InstapunK site ...

President Bush suffered some "cuts and bruises" after a fall from his mountain bike Saturday. According to the Associated Press:
Bush was on the 16th mile of a 17-mile ride when he fell, Duffy said. He was riding with a military aide, members of the Secret Service and his personal physician, Dr. Richard Tubb.

"He had minor abrasions and scratches on his chin, upper lip, nose, right hand and both knees," Duffy said. "Dr. Tubb, who was with him, cleaned his scratches, said he was fine. The Secret Service offered to drive him back to the house. He declined and finished his ride."

Bush was wearing his bike helmet and a mouth guard when the mishap occurred. Duffy said he didn't know exactly how the accident happened.

"It's been raining a lot and the topsoil is loose," the spokesman said. "You know this president. He likes to go all out. Suffice it to say he wasn't whistling show tunes."
Unaccountably, Bush failed to curse at the Secret Service agents who witnessed his tumble. Further, he failed to claim that he never falls. The White House spokesman, Trent Duffy, wouldn't confirm that these mental lapses were being studied by the president's physicians, though a Kerry campaign aide questioned the administration's reticence on this point, noting that the Secret Service has not announced an investigation of the offending bike.

"If it's not the fault of Secret Service agents or the bike," said the aide, "then the accident can only be due to the president's own deficiencies. These should be looked into by qualified specialists for the good of the nation."

Following a bicycle mishap suffered by Kerry some weeks ago, the senator's custom-built Cape Cod cruiser was investigated, determined to be culpable, and "put down humanely," according to the Kerry campaign's press office.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Hindsight ain't policy ... 

From Dick McDonald ...
After a year talking about Bush's failed management of the war in Iraq, we still have no idea what the Democratic presumptive nominee, John F. Kerry would have done differently. Besides employing his 20-20 hindsight, he has offered absolutely nothing by way of policy. What rationale can a voter use to vote for Kerry. His allies in the media can't stonewall on this issue forever. Or can they? Read the other Limbaugh's The Prospect of Kerry is Scary.
Dick is dead on ... as far as I can tell Kerry hasn't described a single element of his proposed "policy".

Kerry's new campaign theme ... 

... "Let America be America again" is from a poem written by an avowed communist.

Chris Regan, over at the Junkyard Blog writes ...
The Kerry campaign sure is starting to look like the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight. According to the Drudge Report today, John Kerry's campaign has settle on the words "Let America be America Again" as their campaign theme.

There's only one problem. Kerry plagiarized the phrase from a poem written by black writer Langston Hughes. The punchline that follows Kerry's line reads, "America never was America to me."

Even worse for the embattled presidential candidate is the fact that Langston Hughes was a well-known Communist.

Langston Hughes is a man who once added an extra S to USA in a poem. The extra S stood for Soviet. In the same piece, Hughes also wrote, "good-morning, Revolution: You're the very best friend I ever had. We gonna pal around together from now on."

Hughes took to communism in the 1930's when he actually left the United States to live in the Soviet Union.

... John Kerry is not the farthest left Senator in America for nothing. Just as it was back in his VVAW days, he's the leader of the America-bashing enemy-assisting left and he's proud of it!

... After reading the Langston Hughes poem that has inspired John Kerry, you'll recognize the subtext is actually, "Let Amerikkka be America again." It ends with:
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!
So Kerry's new campaign theme is actually a backhanded slap at America disguised as patriotism. Fits nicely with his old theme, whatever that was. His new slogan may only be a call for a return to Clinton's unserious pre-9/11 America, but his unrepentant pro-Communist radical ideology and activism is a sign that he may have much more planned for a Kerry "regime."
Go read the whole thing.

The wrong enemy ... 

With regard to Mike Berg blaming the death of his son on President Bush, Michelle, over at A Small Victory nails it again ...
I do understand why a lot of people are anti-Bush. Their belief system varies from mine and that's all well and good. Different strokes, etc. But this goes beyond reason.

Like Jeff said, Mike Berg is using his son as a poltical pawn. Worse, he is using his son's death to gain sympathy for terrorists.

"And I am sure that these murderers, for just a brief moment, did not like what they were doing."

The shouts of Allahu Akbar and the excuberant chanting tells me otherwise.

So this guy thinks that in response to 9/11, we should have stopped what we were doing and gone over for a group hug with those people so we can better get to know them and find out why they want to kill us so.

Root causes, my ass. You know what the root cause of all this? For 2,000 years, radical Islamists have believed that they own the right to chop off the heads of infidels. Last I checked, George W. Bush was not around 2,000 years ago.

And let me tell you, Mr. Berg - if George Bush had looked into your son's eyes, it wouldn't be while he was slicing his head off.

Proof is in the pudding. Even if the terrorists that killed Nick Berg found him to be a wonderful human being who supported their cause, they still killed him. Is Mike Berg ok with that?

I'm never going to get tired of repeating this: They. Will. Kill. You. When they attack us again - and they will - they will kill you, too. They will not care if you belong to ANSWER or Move On. They will not care that you support them. They will not be going through the buildings or subways or whatever structure they plan to blow up and pull out the anti-war people. Make no mistake, they hate you. They will use you as pawns while they can but in the end, you'll be on the same end of their terrorism as I will. You are completely delusional if you think otherwise, just as you are delusional if you think this war of civilizations can ever be settled. People who believe that their god gives them the right to slice necks and blow up buildings will never, ever come to a peaceful settlement of any kind, at least not one that doesn't involve your conversion to Islam.

Mike Berg is an opportunist who is seizing the moment of his son's death as a way to spread his leftist propaganda.

How incredibly disgusting.
Go read the whole thing.

Harsh reality ... 

From today's NY Times opinion page ...
To the Editor:

Re "Panel Criticizes New York Action in Sept. 11 Attack" (front page, May 19):

Commissions do need to review 9/11, so that we can learn. But by dishonoring those who served in the line of duty, we learn nothing! I can only imagine the questions they ask themselves, trying to reconcile themselves to the crisis they met that day: "If I had been there two minutes earlier and if I hadn't tripped on the stairs, perhaps one more life would have been saved."

We don't need to point out the harsh reality of human limitations. It sleeps with them every night. Hold them to a higher standard? I say they have already assumed that by going to work every day.

We can improve our systems of communication, our training procedures and our safety precautions. But don't be deceived; we'll never be fully prepared for death on any scale, for it makes us aware of our mortality. In this life, the "why" is not always answered to our satisfaction.

Give yourself and others the gift of forgiveness.

Branson, Mo., May 19, 2004

Best column ever ... 

From today's NY Times Op-Ed page comes Paul Krugman's most cogent, lucid, and insightful column ever ...
Paul Krugman is on vacation.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Out of touch ... 

Once again Molly Ivins demonstrates in today's editorial cartoon column just how out of touch with reality she really is.
However, this argument is less than convincing if an American bomb or bullet has just killed your child. Or if you were among the 70 percent to 90 percent of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib who were there by accident.
The truth, as reported, was that approximately 7,000 of the 9,000 incarcerated were hard-core insurgents or "freedom fighters". Let's see ... that means that less than 20% were "innocents".

Molly never was very good at math ...
The dotty part of the debate comes from the neocons, whose idea this was in the first place. A few weeks ago, Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, said: "I think no one can properly assert that the failure to find Iraqi WMD stockpiles undermines the reasons for the war."

Really? Well, then let me assert it improperly. You told us that this was why we had to go to war, and you can't just stand there and lie about it now.
I believe that "large stockpiles" were not mentioned specifically, but large numbers of unnaccounted for WMD's were.

With the recent sarin and mustard gas IED attacks as background, it looks like Molly's failings with math are again at the forefront. (You think Saddam could count higher than two ? or that his WMD production resulted in two devices ?)
The Center for American Progress has an exit strategy that I think sounds useful. It is recommending that Bush call an emergency international summit immediately, seek to have the United Nations fully oversee the transition, have NATO take the security responsibility and set up an independent trust fund for reconstruction. Further details of the plan can be found at the center's Web site.
Now this makes REAL sense ... Let's let the UN, who managed the "Oil for UN Diplomats Food" program so very well, handle the rest of the reconstruction. Has the UN ever rung up ANY successes in the "reconstruction department" ? And using NATO to guarantee the security really means that the US military carries on business as usual, since our "allies" are so determined to see the efforts in Iraq succeed.
We are a practical people and often quite shrewd. That means knowing when to cut your losses. Let's use it now. Let's not stand around with our thumbs in our ears, pretending that the nincompoops who got us into this knew what they were doing.

We were attacked by al Qaeda. Let's go get them and leave the Iraqis to international authorities.
Another example of the mantra of the liberal left ... "there is no connection between the war on terror and Iraq". I think Al-Zaquari would probably disagree ...

How blind do you have to be to realize that the frontlines of the war on terror are in Iraq ?

Just blind enought to take Molly at face value ....

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The Presidential parenthetical ... 

RF Laird over at InstapunK.com writes a powerful piece regarding the weight on the President's shoulders ... this is a must read piece ...
It's there in plain sight, the asterisk that says everything we're thinking about right now could be rendered void in a single moment, but we're not going to think about that right now. Politicians and pundits put it in almost ritually, as if they were knocking wood to keep bad luck away, but the ballooning dimensions of horror that live inside the mention are closed off from scrutiny by protective brackets.

But I have another name for it too: the presidential parenthetical. From this perspective, it's the clearest indication of just how far away most of us are from seeing the world situation the way President Bush has to see it. For him the "next attack" can be no aside or sotte voce appendix. It is, in many respects, the only topic of importance. We don't like to imagine, but he has to imagine, the reality and the cascading consequences of an attack that kills 80,000 Americans.

What happens on that day? Compared to its impact 9/11 will be seen in hindsight as only a ripple, a warning not heeded. There won't be space in 10 years of New York Times editions to honor the dead with individual eulogies. Panic and the interdependencies of technological infrastructure will plunge the United States, and the world, into an instant economic depression.. If such an event were to happen the day after tomorrow or the day after a month from now, what would become of all our earnest editorializing about Abu Ghraib, the role of the U.N., the shocking $25 billion overrun in occupation costs, the need to win hearts and minds in the 'moderate' Muslim world, the dangers of the patriot act, the disputed basis of the war in Iraq, the jobless recovery, gas prices, the 9/11 commission report, and Bush's attendance record in the National Guard?

All would be swept away. We would confront images of death so widespread that almost everyone in the country would know one of the victims personally. A major city would be paralyzed, gripped in a sudden crisis of survival as water, electricity, food, and medical care became unavailable for hundreds of thousands of citizens. The president would confront a near universal demand for revenge on a massive, nuclear scale. Pundits who are at this moment writing sober columns about the need for Rumsfeld's dismissal will propose lists of targets -- Mecca, Medina, Damascus -- requiring immediate annihilation. Those who continue to oppose self defense on the basis that America somehow deserves the wrath of dark age fanatics (there will be some, and you can meet them today at Moveon.org and Democraticunderground.com) (but notice who's parenthetical now) will be reviled and persecuted by people who once marched with them in anti-war demonstrations. The editorial columns of newspapers will bulge with indignant outcries about why it is taking so long to retaliate, to seal our borders, to clamp down on the Arab autocracies who are breeding mass murderers with impunity. And when the evidence indicates that the plot was hatched and harbored in Iran (Syria), the chattering experts will demand to know why nothing was done before it was too late.

Does this day of transformation seem far-fetched? Of course it doesn't. We the people just don't want to think about it. Maybe we can't think about it. But the President of the United States has to think about it. It is already real to him. He experienced 9/11 from the perspective that none of us has had, as the one who is responsible for leading the country through the mess. He knows what that is like, which is why we can demean his intelligence all we want to in our hubris; the truth is, in this respect, he is the only intelligent person among us right now. He knows that every sacrifice is worth making to prevent that impending horrific day from coming. He knows that America the Free is impossible to defend through sheer defense. That's why he took the fight to the terrorists at once and why it doesn't matter which reason he picked for taking out Saddam. He fought in Iraq the way the allies fought in North Africa in 1942, because it was a way to engage the enemy right now. He knows it doesn't matter if the Europeans whine and splutter because they will wail with misery after the economic crash caused by mass death in the land of the hated Americans.

What does he see that we don't? Body bags. Thousands upon thousands, if not millions, of the slippery black lozenges that used to be mothers, fathers, children, marines, airmen, and seamen, bags filled and buried on his watch in such numbers that the casualties we are experiencing now seem not reckless but prefatory, the scattered shots of the phony war in the days before blitzkrieg awakened a sleeping nation.

We must try to see those body bags too. If we can't, all our convictions about what's right, what's wrong, what's important, what isn't, are likely to be wrong. Dead wrong.
If you're not visiting InstapunK.com on a daily basis, you really don't know what you are missing !

The story emerges ... 

Keith Burgess-Jackson, the Analphilosopher has come clean (so to speak) in this post explaining his hyphenated last name.

He answered the question I (and probably many others) didn't have the courage (or desire to pry) to ask !

...And no it's not his wife's last name !

Go read !

Kerry profits from "Big Oil" ... 

Oh, the hypocrisy !

...Turns out that according to Kerry's most recent financial disclosures in the U.S. Senate, on file at the Center for Resonsive Politics, the Kerry family owned between $1 million and $2 million worth of holdings in companies specializing in "oil and gas acquisitions."

Additionally, the Kerry family previously pocketed as much as $2 million in capital gains from the sale of stock in mega oil companies including ExxonMobil and BP Amoco.

(Hat Tip to Ed Moltzen)

Lot's of good stuff today from Neal Boortz ... 

Flip on over to Neal Boortz. He has much to say today !

On the WMD's used in Iraq:

About a gallon. That's how much Sarin gas was in that artillery shell found by US troops near the Baghdad airport. I don't know the answer to my own question, maybe you do. Just how much damage could be done with about one gallon of this deadly nerve agent?

Today we have reports that Al Qaeda is trying to set up an attack on US soil with either a chemical or a biological weapon. What do we do? Maybe The Poodle will suggest that we immediately start an intense program of appeasement to forestall such an attack. Perhaps Kerry could offer to crawl on his hands and knees to Kofi Annan even before he's elected, if it will make the terrorists just leave us alone.
On the media's campaign against America:

This should come as no surprise. It's already started: the media is rooting for us to lose the war on terror. Today, The Washington Post has declared that there is a "fear of failure growing." Once again, the doom and gloom media has declared the war lost. The terrorists must be thrilled. The whole terrorist game plan in the Middle East and in Iraq is based on creating an atmosphere of fear, gloom and doom in the American citizenry. It seems as if some of these media outlets actually have signed on to help the Islamo-fascists achieve that very goal. We have 150,000 troops deployed, the country of Iraq remains under our control, and casualties for the whole war are under a thousand. If we hold on to our resolve this situation is winnable. That, however, wouldn't be good for the left and for those who want America to follow instead of to lead.

Downplay the good, hammer the bad. Run the Abu Ghraib story on the front page for three weeks. Bury the Nick Berg story after one day. Ignore the Sarin and mustard gas finds. If the story will help Bush, bury it. If it will hurt Bush, run it day after day.
On the high price of gasoline and today's gasoline "boycott":

You've no doubt received the idiotic, stupid e-mail declaring that today is the day everyone should boycott the oil companies because of high prices. What idiotic nonsense. This is what passes for logical, informed thought in the United States right now. "Yippee! Let's stage a boycott!" Yeah...that will really stick it to the man! Not. What you don't buy today, you'll just buy tomorrow. That's not much of a boycott, is it? Besides, boycotts don't work. The majority of people don't care, or have time to bother. They go about their business, buy their gas, don't whine and prefer to worry about things they can actually control.

First of all ... get over this "record price" nonsense. Once again the media is screaming "record gas prices" to anyone who will read, view or listen. You cannot put forth a legitimate comparison of gasoline prices over the years unless you adjust those prices for inflation. When you do adjust gas prices for inflation you will find that the end of the Carter administration Americans were paying an average of $2.91 per gallon for gasoline. You won't hear this reported on ABC, CBS, NBC or CNN. You did hear this reported last night on Fox News Channel. That's why the left hates Fox News.

Sure...oil is up to over $40 a barrel..but guess what? Your SUV doesn't run on crude oil, does it? Nope. That oil has to be refined, and we haven't built a new refinery in the United States since 1976. What's more, some of the refineries we do have are shutting down because they simply cannot afford to meet some of the new environmental standards we've created. What about building new refineries? Yeah ... try to get that by the anti-capitalist, environmentalist socialists. Oil companies are left simply trying to increase the capacity of the refineries they do have.

Speaking of the environmentalists ... don't forget the special anti-pollution blends the refineries are having to put out for the summer months. This means that they have to stop production while they shift to the new blends. This adds to the supply difficulties.

Then there's China. China's economy is growing like a field of weeds. They are demanding a greater and greater share of the world's supplies of crude oil. Greater demand + limited supply = higher prices.

You could always move to Europe, where gas runs over $5 a gallon.
And of course the latest on "The Poodle" (Kerry):

Unable to get Donald Rumsfeld's resignation, blame Bush for the Abu Ghraib photos or make anything else stick, The Poodle has shifted gears and is now concentrating on the price of gasoline. Now it's all Bush's fault.

People tried to blame Clinton in 2000 when gas prices hit $2 a gallon. Then-Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson was hauled before Congress. People demanded answers! It sounds good, and politicians try to get as much mileage as possible out of it, but they no more control the price of gasoline than anyone else. If anything, they drive up the price with excessive regulations.

So yesterday The Poodle spends all day bashing Bush for the high gas prices, his ties to oil companies, and for stockpiling of the nation's petroleum reserves. The Soufflé wants us to stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) which is there in case of a catastrophic disruption in the nation's oil supply. I guess he's not thinking that far ahead. The White House shot back that prices have gone up because the Democrats have refused to pass the president's energy bill, which would include drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the left's hallowed ground. By the way. If Bill Clinton had not vetoed the exploration of ANWAR in 1995, we would be getting one million barrels of crude oil out of ANWAR today. Just a thought.

The RNC has now produced a statement from The Poodle in 2000 saying that he did not support President Clinton's release of oil from the strategic reserve, which is there for the sole national security purpose of keeping us from ever running out. It is not there to manipulate the free market. Kerry recognized that when he wasn't pandering for votes. Now the story is different.

If the liberals really wanted cheaper gas, they would allow us to drill for our own oil, and build more refineries. They would also talk about lowering the gas tax. They won't do any of that, so it's really they that are to blame for the high prices.
It is worth the read ... go check it out !

More 9/11 commission "puffery" ... 

From Jeff Jarvis ...
: The politicizing and grand-standing of the 9/11 Commission does not end. Just now John Lehman launched a totally uncalled-for attack on New York's police and fire officials, saying their command and control was "scandalous" and not good enough for the Boy Scouts.

How dare he?

This was not only disrespectful to the work of many heroes it was said for effect and publicity. If Lehman truly cared about getting to ways to make things better, he would not have said it this way. But he did.

The former police and fire bosses being questioned gave him restrained what-for (I would have given him the finger). Thomas Van Essen said that the kind of statement Lehman just made is the essence of the problem people have with this commission.


: Getaloada the self-puffery on JohnFLehman.com:
John F. Lehman, the youngest and most controversial Secretary of the Navy who built the six hundred ship Navy during the Reagan administration, speaks with authority and candor on a variety of subjects which shape contemporary thought.

The ego that launched 600 ships.

Typical of the "Head in the Sand" crowd ... 

This response, in today's New York Times, is typical of those who get their news in little sound bites from the liberal mainstream media, and then procede to bury their head in the sand ...
Advice for Kerry

To the Editor:

Re "Iraq on the Hustings: Too Much Finesse, Not Enough Facing Up," by Francis X. Clines (Editorial Observer, May 17):

Message to John Kerry: Americans have rarely been so upset — over Iraq, the sabotage of international relations, the economy, gas prices, health care.

All the while, George W. Bush's message remains: The sun is shining (although it's raining).

Mr. Kerry, do for us what Mr. Bush seems incapable of: Become the Great Listener.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., May 17, 2004

Sarin? What Sarin? ... 

William Safire, in today's New York Times writes:
You probably missed the news because it didn't get much play, but a small, crude weapon of mass destruction may have been used by Saddam's terrorists in Iraq this week.

The apparent weapon was sarin gas, a highly toxic nerve agent that causes victims to choke to death. Developed by the Nazis, it has been used in the past by terrorists in Japan to kill a dozen subway riders and panic thousands, and by Saddam Hussein, who produced tons of it to kill Iraqi Kurds.

Rigged as an "improvised explosive device," or roadside bomb, the 155-millimeter howitzer shell was accidentally detonated by a U.S. ordnance team. Two men were treated for what an Army spokesman called "minor exposure" to the nerve gas.

You never saw such a rush to dismiss this as not news. U.N. weapons inspectors whose reputations rest on denial of Saddam's W.M.D. pooh-poohed the report. "It doesn't strike me as a big deal," said David Kay.

"Sarin Bomb Is Likely a Leftover From the 80's" was USA Today's Page 10 brushoff; maybe the terrorists didn't know their shell was loaded with sarin. Besides, say our lionized apostles of defeat, a poison-gas bomb does not a "stockpile" make. Even the Defense Department, on the defensive, strained not to appear alarmist, saying confirmation was needed for the field tests.

In this rush to misjudgment, we can see an example of the "Four Noes" that have become the defeatists' platform.

The first "no" is no stockpiles of W.M.D., used to justify the war, were found. With the qualifier "so far" left out, the absence of evidence is taken to be evidence of absence. In weeks or years to come — when the pendulum has swung, and it becomes newsworthy to show how cut-and-runners in 2004 were mistaken — logic suggests we will see a rash of articles and blockbuster books to that end.

These may well reveal the successful concealment of W.M.D., as well as prewar shipments thereof to Syria and plans for production and missile delivery, by Saddam's Special Republican Guard and fedayeen, as part of his planned guerrilla war — the grandmother of all battles. The present story line of "Saddam was stupid, fooled by his generals" would then be replaced by "Saddam was shrewder than we thought."

This will be especially true for bacteriological weapons, which are small and easier to hide. In a sovereign and free Iraq, when germ-warfare scientists are fearful of being tried as prewar criminals, their impetus will be to sing — and point to caches of anthrax and other mass killers.

Defeatism's second "no" is no connection was made between Saddam and Al Qaeda or any of its terrorist affiliates. This is asserted as revealed truth with great fervor, despite an extensive listing of communications and meetings between Iraqi officials and terrorists submitted to Congress months ago.

Most damning is the rise to terror's top rank of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who escaped Afghanistan to receive medical treatment in Baghdad. He joined Ansar al-Islam, a Qaeda offshoot whose presence in Iraq to murder Kurds at Saddam's behest was noted in this space in the weeks after 9/11. His activity in Iraq was cited by President Bush six months before our invasion. Osama's disciple Zarqawi is now thought to be the televised beheader of a captive American.

The third "no" is no human-rights high ground can be claimed by us regarding Saddam's torture chambers because we mistreated Iraqi prisoners. This equates sleep deprivation with life deprivation, illegal individual humiliation with official mass murder. We flagellate ourselves for mistreatment by a few of our guards, who will be punished; he delightedly oversaw the shoveling of 300,000 innocent Iraqis into unmarked graves. Iraqis know the difference.

The fourth "no" is no Arab nation is culturally ready for political freedom and our attempt to impose democracy in Iraq is arrogant Wilsonian idealism.

In coming years, this will be blasted by revisionist reportage as an ignoble ethnic-racist slur. Iraqis will gain the power, with our help, to put down the terrorists and find their own brand of political equilibrium.

Will today's defeatists then admit they were wrong? That's a fifth "no."

Lowering the flag in Athens ... 

From today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Mark Davis writes the following:
I saw the first NBC promo for the upcoming Olympics this past weekend. It's a beautiful piece of work, with athletes diving and vaulting and running and swimming through various sun-splashed Greek locales.

Gee, I hope we go.

With the Olym-pics less than three months away, there is a nagging question as to whether America will in fact attend.

In fact, there is a question as to whether the Olympics will even be held.

For the first time ever, the International Olympic Committee has taken out insurance to protect itself should the Games be flat-out canceled.

But these are just the signs of skittishness one might expect in a terror-heavy time when the Games are held nervously close to the terror-heavy part of the world.

The obvious expectation is that the Games will be held, and America will go. As such, preparations are under way.

In Greece, construction crews are scrambling to complete venues. Security forces are training daily. In America, our athletes are warming up. Runners are loosening up, swimmers are taking practice laps, boxers are sparring.

And every single one of them will be told: If you win, tone down the flag-waving.

It has come to this. Consider some of our most cherished Olympic memories -- of American athletes basking in hard-fought triumph, displaying their love of country as the anthem is played. Such things will now be discouraged.

Why? Because we might upset some of the folks in the stands who hate our guts.

"We are not the favorite kid in the room," says Bill Martin, president of the United States Olympic Committee. "We are sensitive to the issue of flaunting and jingoism in its raw sense. This is going to be a tough Games for us as a country."

Well, sure, if we make it so.

And why are we? Because of the same fit of self-flagellation that currently grips many in America -- the sad notion that if we are hated, it must be our fault.

So what should we do?

I understand that the climate in Athens may be tense, and I don't want our athletes to do anything needlessly provocative. But where is that line drawn?

Four years ago in Sydney, one of our relay teams was pressured to apologize for post-victory strutting (one person shirtless), draped in the American flag.

Flush with victory, and proud of the country they represent. How awful.

Would we inflict this kind of stupid stigma on any other nation?

Would we think ill of the Mexican boxer wrapped in his flag after a gold-medal knockout?

Would we wag fingers at the Kenyan marathoner similarly adorned after hours of grueling, medal-worthy effort?

Of course not. But I also know that neither Mexico nor Kenya fancies itself a lone superpower on a global quest to vanquish terror. It's not exactly apples and apples.

But it is still a little nauseating to think of someone telling our athletes to rein it in for fear of ruffling the feathers of the occasional German, French or Russian athlete or fan.

This self-consciousness actually creates more tension. Left to their own instincts, I think, the roughly 550 athletes we will send to Greece would behave admirably anyway.

I do have one lingering curiosity on this subject: I wonder if we are harboring any virulent anti-war bigotry on our team, and if that will rear its head.

I don't mean mere war opposition; I don't care if Tommy the sprinter or Julie on the water polo team happens to disagree with the war. I'm talking about Michael Moore-style, dunderheaded hate.

There have been moments when athletes have chosen to make the Games their own little political stage.

If we're going to restrain our young men and women from sincere displays of patriotism, I wonder if we're taking a moment to remind them to keep any uglier instincts in check as well.